Is the acorn better than the oak which is its fullness and completion?
March 22, 2010 10:13 PM   Subscribe

ACORN, the low-income community grassroots organisation, is set to close by April 1st, citing "a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded, right-wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era". Meanwhile the New York Times has issued a correction on the stories which led to the 87-3 vote to remove ACORN's Federal funding (previously), admiting that "while footage shot away from the offices shows one activist, James O'Keefe, in a flamboyant pimp costume, there is no indication that he was wearing the costume while talking to the Acorn workers."
posted by Artw (87 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
A sad day for what seemed to be a pretty successful organization, or at least one whose merits outweighed its flaws.

Perhaps its next incarnation will avoid the baleful glare.
posted by Fraxas at 10:18 PM on March 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Depends if they do anything inflamatory to Fox News and the Republican party, like helping black people vote.
posted by Artw at 10:20 PM on March 22, 2010 [75 favorites]


New York Daily News:
Brooklyn prosecutors on Monday cleared ACORN of criminal wrongdoing after a four-month probe that began when undercover conservative activists filmed workers giving what appeared to be illegal advice on how to hide money.

While the video by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles seemed to show three ACORN workers advising a prostitute how to hide ill-gotten gains, the unedited version was not as clear, according to a law enforcement source.

"They edited the tape to meet their agenda," said the source.
Salon:
"Breitbart, meanwhile, has refused to release the full videotapes of any of the ACORN visits. He says his critics may not 'have the stomach to deal with' what's on the tapes."
posted by Rhaomi at 10:20 PM on March 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


Man, fuck Republicans.
posted by graventy at 10:23 PM on March 22, 2010 [39 favorites]


Nuts.
posted by sallybrown at 10:25 PM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Odd: nothing on their website (first link) about closing yet; the second link ("racewire") links in turn to an ACORN "organizational statement," i.e. to a politico link that's nevertheless boinked for me; and then there's the business of closing on April Fools Day--and all due to pressure from "a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded, right-wing attacks," which no doubt is being read by the right as an admission of defeat.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 10:26 PM on March 22, 2010


Never mind this "correction", who or what outfit is bankrolling James O'Keefe's attempts to break into Senatorial offices and pull these kinds of stunts? Another lesson in Crap Journalism 101 from the grey lady.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:28 PM on March 22, 2010 [19 favorites]


NPR
posted by Artw at 10:28 PM on March 22, 2010


I gotta be honest, I was partially taken in by the "footage" O'Keefe and Giles obtained. I was initially skeptical; but I just couldn't see how anything that damning could have been edited together without some level of related systemic wrongdoing on ACORN's part... and if it could, I didn't believe that it would retain enough legitimacy to get past the major networks' fact checkers.

I can't believe I was that naïve that recently.
posted by Riki tiki at 10:30 PM on March 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


the New York Times has issued a correction on the stories
It's certainly weird that it took them months to actually do this.
which no doubt is being read by the right as an admission of defeat
It probably will, but the main reason this happened is that they ran out of money after people stopped funding them.
posted by delmoi at 10:32 PM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


.

I need to find some good news before I go to bed. Wish me luck.
posted by m@f at 10:37 PM on March 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


I was pretty close to volunteering with ACORN the summer between my first and second year of law school. They say history is written by the winners but I'm struggling to understand how allies of the political wing that managed to lose BOTH houses of Congress AND the Executive branch have now succeeded in re-writing the history of ACORN. Seriously: I'm familiar with their charter and their objectives but I'm in the rare minority. The vast majority of American laypersons will forever associate ACORN with (a) "stealing" the election of 2008 for the Kenyan Maoist [it pains me to even type that, but I'm just reporting here] and/or (b) facilitating prostitution. I thought the American right sharked the jump with what struck me as the obviously racially-charged symbolism of their "exposé" [Pimps and hos, really? What is this, a ghetto caricature theme party at some 98% white commuter college?] video but now I don't even know. All the ink spilled since late 2008 notwithstanding, there's now no escaping the fact that, at best, some 35-40% of American voters are demonstrably crypto-fascist. ACORN -- a group that for all its faults managed to increase civic participation in free elections, presumably but obviously not a non-partisan goal -- is folding while any number of right-wing astroturf organizations are evidently thriving. Consider this the logical conclusion of the (blatantly anti-urban, anti-minority, anti-immigrant) faux-populist rhetoric of Palin and her ilk: demonizing community organizers is right out of the Bircher playbook. I don't even know what decade this is any more sometimes.

TL;DR = .
posted by joe lisboa at 10:44 PM on March 22, 2010 [50 favorites]


the New York Times has issued a correction on the stories

It's certainly weird that it took them months to actually do this.


Actually that's pretty good. It took them over 2 years to face up to the lies they printed before the war in Iraq. Maybe next time it will only take them two weeks to retract the bullshit they spew.
posted by euphorb at 10:49 PM on March 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Why has nothing come from what I heard months ago about how the congressional defunding of ACORN was unlawful? I had been led to believe that taking action like that was something that Congress could only do once actual wrongdoing had been proven, not just based on allegations, and therefore their obvious panic vote should never have been taken.
posted by hippybear at 11:00 PM on March 22, 2010


hippybear: They had federal contracts, but they also relied on donations. And on top of that, it's unlikely that the Obama administration would re-up their contracts or give them any more.
posted by delmoi at 11:02 PM on March 22, 2010


I don't care what version of these farcical events is true; I'm still stuck on the point where helping a sex worker with her taxes somehow equals thawed Ragnarok in a can.
posted by kid ichorous at 11:04 PM on March 22, 2010 [30 favorites]


This whole story makes me so angry I can barely speak. These are the Senators who stood up for Acorn in the Senate: Illinois Sen. Roland Burris, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. [source]

Here's the house vote.
posted by Kattullus at 11:14 PM on March 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


For better or worse, they understand how narratives work. "Two people came in posing as a pimp and a prostitute and asked for help filing taxes on money made doing illegal things, and ACORN helped them!" is, if true, squicky-looking. "But he wasn't really wearing a flamboyant costume" is not a rebuttal to that. I agree that the ACORN takedown was shitty and shady in all kinds of ways, and that the secrecy surrounding the tapes is absurd. ("ACORN supporters wouldn't be able to take it?" Seriously? That's why he won't release them? Riiiiight.)

Press for the release of the full unedited tapes. Period, end of story.

At the end of the day, ACORN and their supporters blinked first and lost a game of political chicken. It sucks, and it sucks badly, but it would take the revelation that the tapes were CGI and model rockets to turn the narrative around now.
posted by verb at 11:15 PM on March 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Here are a couple of articles citing the unconstitutionality of the defunding vote by Congress. I knew I had heard something about this. I'm just curious why it seems nothing ever came of it.

I don't think I've ever lived in a community where ACORN was an active force, so I remain a bit clueless about how much of a contribution they made. I did hear briefly on NPR that a lot of the local groups under the ACORN umbrella have reorganized and continue to function, and can only assume that is a Good Thing™.
posted by hippybear at 11:20 PM on March 22, 2010


hippybear: They took it to court and won, restoring the contracts.
posted by delmoi at 11:23 PM on March 22, 2010


verb: The tapes weren't just edited, they were dubed. They showed up as a stripper/potential hooker, and her boyfriend, not pimp.
posted by delmoi at 11:25 PM on March 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


I got to know about Acorn when I was teaching chess to 7-9 year olds in a public school in a very poor area of Providence. A mother of two girls in the afterschool program, one of whom was in my class, worked for Acorn. This was in 2006 and she was engaged heavily in voter registration for the upcoming mid-terms. This had nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats. In Providence there is no competition, it's pretty much Democratic from one end to the other. What it was about was giving a voice to people who've been ignored by politicians for decades. Politicians pay attention to vote-rich areas and ignore those where few go to the polls.

From what the girls said she had raised them by herself from when the younger was one years old.This was a few years ago and I hope that the mother has a new job because being jobless in Rhode Island is no joke. There's very little in the way of work.

SO ANGRY
posted by Kattullus at 11:26 PM on March 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


This, "Climategate", and the Swiftboaters. Why does rightwing slander always work?
posted by dirigibleman at 11:32 PM on March 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is appalling, but not surprising.

Obama notwithstanding, the media still thinks it's 1981; even when it can't justify GOP policies and arguments intellectually, for them, the chilly shadow of Reagan's Pompadour of Reaction and Retribution still feels somehow... not desired, but masochistically deserved.

It's a generational thing; it'll last at least another five or ten years. Sadly, corporate-level media consolidation might prolong it beyond that point.
posted by darth_tedious at 11:55 PM on March 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


This, "Climategate", and the Swiftboaters. Why does rightwing slander always work?

It does not always work: despite all the slander against Obama before the election (he's a "muslim Kenyan, Indonesian 'weatherman' friend of 'terrorist' Bill Ayers"), he was still elected, and despite all the slander this past year about HCR ("death panels," etc.), today the bill was finally passed.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 11:55 PM on March 22, 2010 [11 favorites]


This, "Climategate", and the Swiftboaters. Why does rightwing slander always work?

Urrr, who owns the media?

Meanwhile, on Bizarro World, the teabaggers were framed for racist behavior during the "no health care" rallies.
posted by benzenedream at 12:11 AM on March 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


Hang on, I heard somewhere (TV news maybe?) that several branches changed their name, and disaffiliated themselves with ACORN. Which, while being awful since they seemed to be legitimately decent, isn't as bad as them outright shutting down. As long as they can continue to do what they were doing before (based on donations), I'm good to go. I just wish more tax money went into it, just to prove that FOX and Breitbart are shitful racists.
posted by spiderskull at 1:36 AM on March 23, 2010


Why does rightwing slander always work?

It doesn't. We got HCR passed.
posted by spiderskull at 1:37 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: thawed Ragnarok in a can.
posted by rdone at 1:49 AM on March 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


From the NPR article:
And at the same time, some of their largest state chapters decided to distance themselves from the group and to reorganize under new names. So that left the national organization a little more than a shell.
So, in other words, the vast right-wing conspiracy is now facing many different organizations instead of one, and all of them with a really good reason to hate them. Well-played, wingnuts.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:20 AM on March 23, 2010 [15 favorites]


From mighty hoax little acorns don't grow.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:29 AM on March 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


Why does rightwing slander always work?

Republicans know how dirty politics works and they aren't afraid to use it:
posted by pracowity at 3:40 AM on March 23, 2010 [25 favorites]


It doesn't. We got HCR passed.

But it wasn't universal healthcare and it contains no public option. It's a privatized, corporate-owned process. Rightwing slander against "big government" worked spectacularly well.

The "who owns the media" comment is spot on. Maybe the next big fight should be in the FCC (?) to a) separate media companies from others (like defense contractors) and b) to break up the media companies themselves into less-national bodies.
posted by DU at 4:24 AM on March 23, 2010 [11 favorites]


Acorn was what makes America special. Just ask John McCain.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:28 AM on March 23, 2010


"Urrr, who owns the media?"

Rich, old white men. Hence, "uber-liberal" NBC's owners being the presenting sponsors of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration.
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 4:32 AM on March 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Man, we should have run much farther with that leaked PPT that showed the GOP playing on right-wingers irrational fears. If only we were into dirtier tricks and could have edited it to say that they were funneling donations to NAMBLA to create a pedestary-filled school to indoctrinate grade schoolers with conservative values. And then ask why the GOP hasn't denied it, complete with the building permits that say they aren't building a molestation school.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:58 AM on March 23, 2010


Man, we should have run much farther with that leaked PPT that showed the GOP playing on right-wingers irrational fears.

Well, Obama got to where he is by not doing that kind of thing, for the most part. What good would that do to freak out about it now? We'd win a 'news cycle'? And it's not like the democrats can't push it later on when we get closer to the election.
posted by delmoi at 5:17 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't even know what decade this is any more sometimes.

Given that some Republicans are comparing the passage of the health bill to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, I don't think I know what century it is anymore.
posted by blucevalo at 5:17 AM on March 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Republicans are comparing the passage of the health bill to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

Just wait until my blockbuster article tying them to the Teapot Dome Scandal hits the broadsheets! It'll be twenty-three skidoo, and how!
posted by DU at 5:22 AM on March 23, 2010 [22 favorites]


Ah yes, the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Back when the Republicans were against slavery.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:31 AM on March 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Back when the Republicans were against slavery.

I saw a bumper sticker on the way home last night that said "FYI: Martin Luther King Jr and Abraham Lincoln were both Republicans." I really ached for a bumper sticker that read GOOGLE RON PAULSOUTHERN STRATEGY.
posted by DU at 5:39 AM on March 23, 2010


That organization was trying to register and help those who are either minority folks or very poor or down and out etc. The Right did not want additional voters-they would of colurse have voted for the Democrats. Congress as usual is cowardly. That they passed a health care reform bill is not an indicaction of how brave they are...the bill just managed to pass after a lot of Dems had to be placated, bought off.
Note that when Clinton changed welfare, there were many constraints put in place for those people who would then be eligible to get govt help, but when govt dished out millions to the failed banks and AIG, constraints still not in place. We remain, mostly, two nations--the Haves and the Have Nots-- and the gap widens.
posted by Postroad at 5:42 AM on March 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


"FYI: Martin Luther King Jr and Abraham Lincoln were both Republicans."

Chalk up another conservative lie. MLK Jr. was never a Republican. MLK Sr. was, but Junior did not endorse any political party.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:43 AM on March 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Chalk up another conservative lie. MLK Jr. was never a Republican. MLK Sr. was, but Junior did not endorse any political party.

Not even that Blazecock.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:00 AM on March 23, 2010


The right wing attacks were pretty vile, but you have to remember that Acorn had made itself vulnerable with poor management over quite a few years. There was a large embezzlement (and associated cover-up attempt, if I remember correctly) fairly recently, involving a family member, for example. Basically, Acorn never managed to transition from high-energy beginnings to a stable, competently-managed middle age. To my eyes, that's sadder, and a bigger betrayal, than the predictable right wing attacks.
posted by Forktine at 6:04 AM on March 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ha ha remember when Hillary Clinton talked about the "vast, right-wing conspiracy"? Man, what a ridiculous statement!

I mean, come on! Conspiracies are hidden.
posted by Legomancer at 6:24 AM on March 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


I would buy a "GOOGLE SOUTHERN STRATEGY" bumper sticker and would like to subscribe to your newsletter, DU.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:28 AM on March 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


I am a pretty hardcore democrat (maybe even a little more to the left than that) and all i hear lately (pretty much since obama got elected) is stuff like this. It's made me totally apathetic to politics for the sake of keeping my blood pressure down.
posted by djduckie at 6:29 AM on March 23, 2010


...the 87-3 vote...

Yeah, curse those right-wingers...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:30 AM on March 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's politically easier to kill something than build something. The right always attacks. This is why they are called reactionaries. Or you could just look at it as naive moral relativists getting mugged by cynical moral absolutists (again.)

Hate, fear and revenge are great motivators.
posted by warbaby at 6:37 AM on March 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hate, fear and revenge are great motivators.

Don't forget the love of money, the root of all evil.
posted by DU at 6:42 AM on March 23, 2010


Hate, fear and revenge are how right-wing direct mail fundraisers work. Find something to hate, make people fear it and then offer revenge for a contribution.

At least according to Alan Gottlieb.
posted by warbaby at 6:48 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


The thing is, the Democrats are so knee-jerk adverse to the word liberal that they're like a big dog that backs down when confronted by a yapping terrier, despite the fact that they could casually break it's neck in play mode, much less fight mode. They need to all be put through something like army basic training until they at least believe that it's possible for them to win a fight (since their performance in the election didn't do it).

I'm pretty much to the point that I'll donate a thousand dollars to the first left leaning congressman who pulls a Buzz Aldrin on any fellow congresscritter spewing the kinds of bile and lies that were used on Acorn or the made up shit that so sullied the health care debate. (Gratuitous You Tube Link That I Never Get Tired Of)

Anyone want to start a PAC?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:50 AM on March 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


"I am," he [Gottlieb] says, "the premiere anti-communist, free-enterprise, laissez-faire capitalist."

In 1984 Gottlieb was convicted of tax fraud and spent 8 months in a work release program.


lol
posted by DU at 6:51 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone want to start a PAC?

People For The AdvanceMent Of Totally Punching Dipshits.
posted by The Whelk at 7:08 AM on March 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am still completely baffled how "stereotypical pimp costume from Party Central" somehow translates in any mind (let alone any *journalist's* mind) into greater credibility. W.T.F. is that all about?!?

It's almost kind of brilliantly designed to soothe any critical thinker ("oh, that's just some punk community college shenanigans, this won't go anywhere.") and simultaneously inflame any wackos, who in conservative circles spread their news by word of mouth anyway and won't see the botched footage.

But seriously journalism: go fuck yourself and your lazy non-vigilance. We trusted you and you sold your soul to corporate mergers.
posted by Skwirl at 7:11 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mission Accomplished. The Right should pat themselves on the back for this one. They've once again been instrumental in disenfranchising voters who don't support them.
posted by zarq at 7:34 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


and all due to pressure from "a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded, right-wing attacks,"

I've often wondered why the Left doesn't fight back. Seriously, fund and orchestrate some serious counter-offensives against the Right-wing attack machinery. Start with Fox news; find every little hypocrisy, drive in a wedge, and blow it just as out of proportion as they do. Get it out there as talking points and stick to them.

I'm not even talking about sinking to their level with slander and lies; use the truth, but make a big deal out of it when something is found, and make them answer for it.

Reducing the deification that some people have for Fox news would be a huge leap forward in national discourse.
posted by quin at 7:59 AM on March 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


make them answer for it.

If you are talking about fights in the media, see previous comments about conservative ownership of same.

If you are talking about fights in court, IAWTP. Prosecute.
posted by DU at 8:04 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I walked past the Baltimore ACORN office on Sunday. It's two blocks from my house. The sign was still up, but it had been completely cleaned out. ACORN didn't have a particularly visible presence in the neighborhood, and I say this as someone who volunteers on two neighborhood association boards. Most of the local nonprofits/service orgs try to keep the associations up on what services they provide, so we can steer people to the right place, but we never really heard from ACORN.

That said, there's a lot of poverty in Baltimore, so it may have been a question of priorities.
posted by electroboy at 8:08 AM on March 23, 2010


Some things never change. When I was an undergrad at university I remember reading a republican strategy guide for getting conservatives elected into student government. One of the most emphasized techniques was to put voting stations in obscure, out of the way locations to help supress turnout. It must be weird to be so morally upright that unethical behavior doesn't count against you.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:28 AM on March 23, 2010 [8 favorites]


Anyone want to start a PAC?

Serious People Indulging Sacreligious Prayers Of Power Domination
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:51 AM on March 23, 2010


Anyone want to start a PAC?

PACFilter?
posted by mephron at 9:03 AM on March 23, 2010


And then there's the idea that the ACORN workers saw the duo as a put-on, but because they resolve to serve everyone, assisted the folks, even though they looked and acted like jerks.

That's the problem with this kind of ambush, if you do your job like you're supposed to, even in the face of complete and obvious silliness, you might eventually bring about the downfall of your organization.

There may have been problems in ACORN, certainly I never gave them much of a thought, but they did some good in the world for folks who may not have had many options.

.

I hate reactionary republicans SO much!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:12 AM on March 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've often wondered why the Left doesn't fight back. Seriously, fund and orchestrate some serious counter-offensives against the Right-wing attack machinery.

You mustn't let them drag you down to their level. If you do, then they've got home advantage, and you'll only get muddy. And it will take energy and focus away from what's important.

As shown just recently with their opposition to health care reform, the right are not about policy, or principle. They currently have NOTHING to offer. They were only about the fight, about the takedown. So it's very important that the center/left ignore the flies and concentrate on the meat - on having consistent, thoughtful, realistic policies.

There are ways to counter the right's wild attacks. I'm no expert, I can only point to people I admire. Jon Stewart. Or Sen. Al Franken - there's a great video out there showing how he responded to some right-wing simpletons with logic, patience and knowledge.

Myself - we have a milder, less rabid breed of right-winger here in Canada, but they still try to emulate the noisy populist US right. When I'm bored, I will scan some of the nuttier Canadian right-wing bloggers, and occasionally respond to some things. I find that if I can simply add a consistent, factually accurate and logically sound rebuttal, they will spit and hurl accusations, but generally I've spoiled their fun, and the echo chamber goes a bit quieter.

But you're right that doing nothing isn't the best course.
posted by Artful Codger at 9:12 AM on March 23, 2010


It must be weird to be so morally upright that unethical behavior doesn't count against you.

Has always been thus. Remember when morally upright, convicted felon, lying sack of shit Oliver North became a conservative hero?
posted by lordrunningclam at 9:16 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Several articles since September about the troubles of the community organizing group Acorn referred incorrectly or imprecisely to one aspect of videotaped encounters

Boy, if only "imprecision" were the worst of the New York Times' problems .....
posted by blucevalo at 9:28 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


DU: "If you are talking about fights in court"

...you're pretty much SOL:
Accusing Fox News Corporation of "intentionally airing false and distorted news reports," former reporters Steve Wilson and Jane Akre filed a challenge against the company's license to broadcast using publicly owned airwaves.

The married couple filed a petition on 3 January 2005 with the Federal Communications Commission to deny renewal of license to Tampa station WTVT, Channel 13, for "intentionally airing false and distorted news reports" in 1997.

After a five-week trial and six hours of deliberation which ended August 18, 2000, a Florida state court jury unanimously determined that Fox "acted intentionally and deliberately to falsify or distort the plaintiffs' news reporting on BGH."

After three judges found in favour of Akre and Wilson on six separate occasions, their rulings were overturned by an appeals court. In 2005 the New York Times reported that "after an appellate court overturned a ruling in favor of Ms. Akre, the couple paid their former employer at least $150,000 to cover legal fees."
posted by Rhaomi at 9:37 AM on March 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


The only thing that should be lost here is the name ACORN. Just take a page out of the fucking Republican playbook, do a rebranding and continue business as usual - which is helping the disenfranchised have a voice for change in a FREE country. Anyone here want to talk about the unconstitutional war profiteering of XE Services? Didn't think so.
posted by any major dude at 9:53 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


there's now no escaping the fact that, at best, some 35-40% of American voters are demonstrably crypto-fascist.

I understand your anger over this, but I disagree with that "fact". It's much more likely that some 35-40% of American voters are vaguely dissatisfied, underinformed, and easily misled about who's to blame for their problems. They are simply pawns in this game, and being masterfully controlled by a small but powerful cadre of crypto-fascists.
The crypto-fascists work very very hard to maintain and increase this figure. I'd suggest the other side simply resolve to work just as hard in fighting them. You need to get some of that 35-40% on your side. Labeling them and hating them isn't going to do that.
posted by rocket88 at 10:35 AM on March 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was thinking about getting an Acorn t-shirt, and wondered how many queries I'd have to field about the scandal.

The only thing that should be lost here is the name ACORN.

They're trying, but it's difficult. Think about XE - have you ever heard it referred to as anything other than XEformerlyknownasBlackwater?
posted by zamboni at 10:36 AM on March 23, 2010


Serious People Indulging Sacreligious Prayers Of Power Domination

A PAC that'd walk through walls?
posted by zamboni at 10:42 AM on March 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Shit, you get 30 or 40% of voters to actually go to the polls in your favor and you've got a frickin' mandate!
posted by Pollomacho at 10:52 AM on March 23, 2010


A PAC that'd walk through walls?

Naw, that PAC itself is only dangerous to pumpkins. You're thinking of the related International Dominion of Serious People Indulging Sacreligious Prayers Of Power Domination. But that group fell apart and was replaced by the International Dominion of Chocolate Licking for Immediate Pleasure.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:34 AM on March 23, 2010


.
posted by defenestration at 1:22 PM on March 23, 2010


Members Energized To Advocacy of Frank, Intelligent Laws To Enrage Republicans.
posted by The Whelk at 1:26 PM on March 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've often wondered why the Left doesn't fight back. Seriously, fund and orchestrate some serious counter-offensives against the Right-wing attack machinery.

Acorn was part of the 1960s efforts to do just that -- push back hard against the very entrenched and reactionary right wing of the time. Acorn wasn't the center piece of this, at all, but it was one of a spectrum of organizations that came out of efforts to find techniques that were effective at defeating the right and implementing leftist policies.

Those techniques -- often involving large demonstrations and the kinds of political organizing Acorn specialized in -- are the same that the Tea Baggers are now using. For whatever reason, the left has long since left those techniques behind in any serious way, while the right has finally rediscovered them after refusing to use them for many decades.

So to push back, the left either needs to borrow from the tools of the right in the 1960s and '70s (eg have the FBI start tapping phones and sending out hit squads); relearn the lessons of those same decades and out-do the Tea Baggers (unlikely with the Democrats in power); or acquire a new set of techniques, either from deeper in history, from somewhere else, or something new and genuinely innovative.
posted by Forktine at 3:25 PM on March 23, 2010



"Urrr, who owns the media?"

Rich, old white men. Hence, "uber-liberal" NBC's owners being the presenting sponsors of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration.
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 7:32 AM on March 23 [3 favorites +] [!]


Wait--the Sheinhart Wig Company is sponsoring that Reagan shindig?
posted by beelzbubba at 3:58 PM on March 23, 2010


Wait--the Sheinhart Wig Company is sponsoring that Reagan shindig?

I think you mean Kabletown.
posted by moxiedoll at 4:20 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Labeling them and hating them isn't going to do that.

You're absolutely right. I rounded up out of anger.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:22 PM on March 23, 2010


In other news: FEC commissioner helped RNC conceal role in 2004 vote suppression
posted by homunculus at 9:35 AM on March 31, 2010


In other news: FEC commissioner helped RNC conceal role in 2004 vote suppression

While I'm definitely NOT ok with that, it's not like I want to see what a do-over with John Kerry & Joe Lieberman would be like now.
posted by beelzbubba at 11:42 AM on March 31, 2010


California Attorney General: Breitbart's ACORN tapes were "severely edited"
posted by homunculus at 2:36 PM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Acorn Says It Continues Its Work
posted by homunculus at 1:05 PM on April 3, 2010


The California Attorney General's website just posted the full, unedited tapes from the "stings" on the ACORN offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Bernardino.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:55 PM on April 3, 2010


Rachel Maddow tears Breitbart's ACORN tapes apart: The MSNBC host shows what James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles cut from their "investigation" into the group
posted by homunculus at 9:49 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rachel Maddow tears Breitbart's ACORN tapes apart: The MSNBC host shows what James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles cut from their "investigation" into the group

Damn, it's moments like this that I truly love watching her show. It's nice to see someone who isn't on Comedy Central doing some actual news reporting for a change!
posted by zarq at 12:02 AM on April 8, 2010


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